Bob Shaw Classic – A Rookie’s Perspective

Recently a few of our players got their first taste of a full American Football game by travelling down to Bedford and taking part in the Bob Shaw Classic Match. Read what one of our complete rookies George Butcher had to say below:

“As soon as I found out about the Bob Shaw Classic I instantly knew I wanted to be involved. The week of the game I had mixed emotions of nervousness and excitement, and the closer the game got, the more excited I became.

Eventually the Saturday training session arrived where I met the other guys who would be involved in the match. Learning how to play in my position before and having game experience was really quite helpful. We moved into Offence Vs Defence, which has always been a favourite drill of mine. At first I found it challenging being up against receivers who I had never marked before, but as it progressed I felt I gained more confidence as the practice went on and eventually made a play where I managed an interception. This, as a rookie, made me happy that I managed it against an experienced receiver. I was also involved in special teams, which again, was another new experience for myself and was surprisingly enjoyable.

In the evening the Black Knights players had booked a restaurant and everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves! I felt I got to know everyone a lot better during the meal. That team “togetherness” is something I really felt and is a vital part of playing American football.

It finally came to the morning of the game and the butterflies were there, I’m not going to lie! From the moment I woke up I instantly knew I wanted to be on the pitch as soon as possible. We arrived at the ground at around 10am where we started our warm ups. The nerves at this point were at an all-time high.

Everyone at the match observed a minutes silence for those who suffered in Paris and two minutes for Bob Shaw himself. As soon as we had finished I was ready for kick off. I was ready to go and as soon as the whistle went the adrenaline kicked in, however as soon as I made a tackle on the returner, the nerves went and the feeling was incredible.

As the game progressed the feeling I had was one of belonging as the team was awesome, especially with the defensive unit! Playing in the game whilst not on special teams was also great and I felt really challenged, facing some really experienced receivers.

The feeling of winning at the end of the game was one hell of a feeling, and a feeling I think everyone would enjoy. The thing I loved the best was the congratulations from my team mates, especially from the Black Knights. The feeling of team cohesion is one of the best feelings anyone can feel.

To those who have not experienced that game day feeling, I highly recommend joining us here at the Worcestershire Black Knights ,where we have a mix of rookies and experienced players who all have the same end goal of getting established in the league.”

As you can tell, George thoroughly enjoyed himself and his love for the game increased further! Want to get involved with the Worcestershire Black Knights and American Football in the UK? Get in touch with by sending an email to or finding us on social media!